Friday, December 5, 2014

The Day I Had to Explain Human Trafficking

One day I paced the house, patting my colicky baby son's back, and the next day, he's twelve years old.

December 2nd he's studying which Lego City fire item he wants for Christmas, and December 3rd he's pouring over the World Vision Gift Catalog, wondering how many chickens we can buy for third-world children, and Mommy, how could I have been looking at Legos? I'd rather buy farm animals and medicines and mosquito nets from this magazine.

2 chickens for $25
fast growing seeds for 1 family $17
$280 worth of medicines for $35

Peter reads the whole magazine cover to cover, wearing a serious demeanor.

"Does God want me to serve in Uganda?"

Uganda is appealing, I believe, because he'll probably get by with just English. We have a Compassion child there who writes us in English in her own hand, without a translator.

"Will I be a farmer there? How will I get land? Can I let these people live on my land so they'll be able to farm their own food? They can keep farm animals too."

Peter is interrupted briefly, and I see the page on child trafficking and tear it out.

The next day the Compassion Gift Catalog comes.

He peruses it first. It's not as detailed, he remarks. I'm folding towels, not thinking ahead about child trafficking. He sees a page. "What's child s*x trafficking?"


I don't say anything because I'm too horrified. I just make the quiet sign. I wait for his 11-year-old brother to leave the room. "It's slavery. The worst kind of slavery."

More silence.

Tears, both of us.

He's angry. Upset at me, upset at the magazine people for not putting a warning about the content. I'm sorry, I say. I didn't catch it in this one.

I'm at a loss for words. My almost 13-year-old son doesn't even know what a gay person is, and here I have to explain human trafficking already?

I open my mouth, not knowing if anything will help. "Human trafficking is the worst evil in the world. The very worst Satan has to offer. It's in this magazine because these girls can be ministered to and God can redeem their situation. They're lied to, their parents are lied to, and sometimes they're simply kidnapped. They're beaten and drugged if they don't comply, and sometimes they're beaten even when they do comply. They can end up addicted to drugs because it's too painful to live without the drugs, in that kind of lifestyle.

Rescuing them and helping them heal spiritually, schooling them and teaching vocational skills takes money, and that's what the magazine is asking for. Child sponsorship prevents children from being trafficked, because neither they nor their parents are so desperate anymore. Their needs are taken care of, and Compassion looks out for these kids--how they get home, how they travel to school, knowing what dangers are lurking and when. Compassion makes it their business to prevent trafficking of Compassion-assisted areas."

He doesn't agree with me that God can redeem this

"No, they can't be helped after that", he said. "It's too late." (Partly, this is OCD moral scrupulosity talking, not my son. We've found another psychologist, thank goodness).

"Peter, God can take any situation, no matter how ugly, and redeem it for his glory. You've got to remember how mighty God is! How much he loves us! He can take any broken person and stamp her beautiful and righteous. I'm not saying she won't still feel some pain, but the Lord will never leave her alone in her pain. He will never forsake her. His blood has made her whole and perfect, destined for full healing in heaven. Remember that God is all about two main things--bringing Glory to himself, and saving souls. God is not blind to these children's plight, and he is working through faithful people like you, Peter, who feel a righteous horror on behalf of these children and their families. Don't ever let the horror dull within you. Save every penny you can. Offer every prayer you can. Ask where God wants to send you, and for what work."

I hate the world we live in, but I love the Lord my God, who is mighty to save. And I'm proud of my son, who didn't want to grow up today, but had to. He's not my colicky baby anymore, but a man-boy after the Lord's own heart. There's no mistaking the fire in his soul. I have to let him go soon...put him in the Lord's hands, just as Katie Davis's parents had to do when she was 19. When the Lord lights a fire, the parents rejoice, but there's a bit of mourning too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bless his little heart!

My son learned recently about the difference between fair trade and non-fair trade foods. He was aghast at the idea that his chocolate bar might have been made 'unfairly'. He instantly vowed to never ever eat unfairly traded chocolate again. We'll see!